T10: I think it could fit into Olympics, feels Tom Banton

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Deccan Gladiators batsman Tom Banton described T10 as a form of a movie, and the perfect way to introduce fans to the format. “I think it could fit into the Olympics. It is not too long. If you want to get into cricket as a movie, T10 is a perfect way. The Tests and even T20I is too long for some people,” Banton said during a virtual press conference.

Gladiators have won six out of eight games so far in the ongoing Season 5 of Abu Dhabi T10 and are currently at the top of the points table. The Englishman, who is a key part of his team’s success, further spoke on his experience playing for the franchise.

“Abu Dhabi T10 is obviously good fun. It’s my third year. Deccan Gladiators are my second team. The coaches have been awesome to work with. I have not been able to score big in a few innings, but, still, it’s been a lot of fun. I am happy to contribute to my team,” he said.

Asked to name a player, who he believes has been the best in the format, Banton picked Deccan Gladiators spinner Wanindu Hasaranga. “I think he has been a pretty great player. The wickets are pretty suited for him to bowl. But he also is an unbelievable bowler who understands his variations and causes trouble for the opposition all the time,” Banton said.

Banton further said that because of the depth of the squad among Gladiators’ ranks, he can start hitting shots from the first ball itself. He, though, added that an opener must not lose concentration if he gets a few dot balls in attempting to hit big shots.

“As an opener, I need to give a good start to the team. Sometimes, you waste a few balls trying to do that. You have to accept you can get out the first ball, or you can get a few dot balls. But you don’t want to worry about it too much, and you just have to enjoy your game,” the Englishman said.

Banton also said that batsmen who can hit big shots from any portion of the bat have a better chance of being successful in T10. “To be successful as a batter, you need to have power to not just hit shots from the middle, but from anywhere on the bat. I am working towards improving this aspect of my game,” he said.

The England international had taken a break from domestic cricket and Big Bash League in the summer to avoid staying in bio-bubble. Banton, now, said that he is mentally feeling better about his game and hopes he can play for Brisbane next year.

“I just did not want to do the two-week quarantine. Now there is no quarantine. So it did not work out how I wanted to because I love playing for Brisbane. I hope I could go on and play next year. I am really feeling happy at the moment about what I am doing. That’s all that matters,” he said.

“I got quite a big break. I did not play any cricket in October. I spent time with family and friends and enjoyed it a lot. That has put me in a better headspace,” he said.

Quizzed about desires to make an international return, Banton said: “I would love to get back into the squad but I don’t want too much pressure on myself. I just want to enjoy my cricket and score as many runs as possible. If you are in that headspace, the rest will take care of itself”

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